Remember how I said I was going to be more Bold this year? I thought my big Bold moment came when I invested a fair amount of money into a blogging course. You know how frugal I am and especially when it comes to spending money on myself but I took the leap. I’m moving at a slower pace than I expected I would due to life getting in the way this year but I’m still trudging along and expect to make some real progress in 2019.
My blogging course didn’t turn out to be my Boldest move though. A job opportunity presented itself unexpectedly a few months ago and after a lot of soul-searching and number-crunching I decided it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. I’m still helping out at my former job on a limited basis but I officially started my new position earlier this month.
I was at my former company for nearly 12 years. I liked my job and I loved my co-workers and I honestly thought I’d be there for many more years. This new job opportunity was presented to me out of the blue and honestly I was initially listening to the details about the job just to be polite because I am not a big fan of change (BIG UNDERSTATEMENT!) and I was perfectly comfortable where I was.
The new job sounded interesting though. My current job at the time was working in accounting for a company that sold medical equipment. I was in charge of the Accounts Receivable primarily. The new job would entail working for the small city I currently live in and would involve handling all of the day-to-day financials for the city.
I’ll be honest, this was a really difficult decision for me to make. Of course me being me, I had to analyze and over-analyze and make a few lists while I debated over taking the job offer. Here are a couple of items I had to consider in making my decision on taking the new job opportunity or staying where I was:
My previous job employed approximately 100 people between salespeople, warehouse workers, a marketing department and our accounting department. The accounting department I worked for consisted of 5 people and we were a close department. I adore these other 4 people I worked 40+ hours with and that makes a huge difference in how happy you’re going to be at work. My office was also about a 10-15 minute commute from my home, which was another nice perk.
My new position would be two full-time salaried workers (me and the city clerk), a Mayor, six council members, and two part-time city maintenance workers. New commute is less than a mile from my home.
Standard benefits at my old job: Health insurance, life insurance, dental, vision, etc. A relatively small company meant we changed health insurance providers quite frequently to try to keep our premiums down. I had a generous 5 weeks of vacation built up as well. Standard work hours were 8-5pm but there was flexibility there if I wanted to adjust my hours to make my kid’s activities, which was very nice. Our department tended to work more than 40 hours though due to the work load.
New job pays my portion of the health insurance but I will pay the difference to keep the kids on my plan while they are still in school. I’m changing from a lower premium, high-deductible plan, to a higher premium, lower deductible plan so this was a difficult part of the decision since I’m really comparing apples to oranges on estimating the final numbers of my healthcare costs with the new job.
Starting over with vacation leave but the new job gives me every other Friday off so that adds 13 days off a year and they also observe 13+ holidays so really I’m not losing as much time as I initially thought I would be. Also I’m required to contribute 5% of my pay to my pension plan but that will be matched at 4 times that. Honestly, this was probably the deciding factor for me as it will help me to quickly catch up on retirement funds since I had stopped my 401K contributions at the previous job when Michael was diagnosed with diabetes and our healthcare costs skyrocketed.
Obviously I am not going to discuss salaries here but I do want to cover one important topic and that’s how your salary is paid. My previous job paid twice a month, once on the 15th and again on the last day of the month. That works out to 24 paychecks a year and then we had the occasional bonuses (always nice).
The new position pays every other Monday (I know, weird right? Monday and not Friday?). This works out to 26 paychecks a year. I bet a lot of you are thinking, Sweet, that’s two months out of every year that you get a 3rd bonus paycheck. Well, yes and no. That also means if your salary was the same annual amount at both jobs then for 10 months out of the year when you’re getting two paychecks a month (26 paychecks a year) your paycheck is several hundred dollars less than it would be if your salary was split up over 24 pay periods. It all evens out over the course of the year but if you’re not used to being paid that way it will be a hit to your budget and you need to adjust accordingly.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider before leaving one job to take another. Employees used to stay at one job all their lives and retire with a nice pension after 40 years or so. That’s definitely not the norm in today’s society though. I’m sure my boys will end up with twice as many jobs (at least) as I’ve had in the course of their careers and that’s okay.
Making the decision to step outside of my comfort zone by taking this new position was definitely bittersweet for me. I have nothing but good things to say about my former company and co-workers and I’m confident I’ll remain the best of friends with my old “crew”. Ultimately I decided there wasn’t much room for upward advancement where I was and it was time to take a chance at a new opportunity. The new work schedule might allow more time for me to focus on my writing as well.
What are some other factors you think should be considered before leaving for a new job or career? Anyone else stepping outside of their comfort zone this year?